Deny Them Their Victory

This document was developed in consultation with Jewish, Muslim, and Christian clergy by Sojourners editor Jim Wallis; Robert W. Edgar, National Council of Churches; Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, Reformed Church of America; Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; and Ron Sider, Evangelicals for Social Action. The breadth of participation has made the document one of the most inclusive religious statements ever released. For a list of the more than 2,500 signers, visit www.sojo.net/response.

We, American religious leaders, share the broken hearts of our fellow citizens. The worst terrorist attack in history that assaulted New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania has been felt in every American community. Each life lost was of unique and sacred value in the eyes of God, and the connections Americans feel to those lives run very deep. In the face of such a cruel catastrophe, it is a time to look to God and to each other for the strength we need and the response we will make. We must dig deep to the roots of our faith for sustenance, solace, and wisdom.

First, we must find a word of consolation for the untold pain and suffering of our people. Our congregations will offer their practical and pastoral resources to bind up the wounds of the nation. We can become safe places to weep and secure places to begin rebuilding our shattered lives and communities. Our houses of worship should become public arenas for common prayer, community discussion, eventual healing, and forgiveness.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 2001
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